Daily Archives: October 30, 2007

Calling Ian Bourne! We Need Your Assistance…

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Stink! Stink! Stink!

From a reader, printed as received…

This skip is like this every monday morning. Stink stink stink, compliments of the NCC.

Last week there was a fridge beside it. This week its a Microwave oven in it – sometimes dead dogs and chickens. This is the Garbage dump for the village by Darrel’s Road and some citizens out of St Philip.

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All on our beautiful Garrison where not too far is the litter free sign. What hypocrisy and contradiction we have around us.

There are two more like this: one is by the Esplanade new parking area and the other by the new facilities on Bay street.

Ian Bourne, what say you??

Editor’s note: When Ian Bourne isn’t writing his Bajan Reporter blog, he and his friends at the SSA are doing their best to keep the island clean, healthy and beautiful. I wonder if it is time for the SSA to put up an official blog/website where folks can complain directly and send photos of places that need to be looked at more carefully? 

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Filed under Barbados, Environment

More Road Deaths Than Murders: Yet Barbados Still Does Not Have Breathalyzer Laws Or Technology

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Commissioner Dottin Pulls His Punches So As Not To Embarrass His Government Masters

Commissioner of Police Darwin Dottin told an awards ceremony audience last Saturday that more Bajans are killed in road accidents than are murdered each year. That sobering fact doesn’t even consider the devastating injuries sustained in the dozens more serious accidents that cripple people for life and destroy faces, families and livelihoods.

“We must bring an end to this carnage on our roads,” said Commissioner Dottin. (See The Nation News: Dottin Concerned About Road Deaths)

We at BFP agree that road safety through prevention and enforcement must continue to be a priority of the Royal Barbados Police Force – but we also believe that the police administration should have enough courage and sense of duty to Barbados to occasionally say what needs to be said: even if doing so would put the police in the position of revealing a failure of government. (Frankly, it would be healthy to see the police criticize government once in a while ’bout here. At least then the police wouldn’t always come across as private agents of the government rather than agents of the people and the rule of law. Ha… not to mention the police being unethically used to collect private debts as in the case of Ronjan Juman! – Juman story link here)

Commissioner Dottin’s Lie Of Omission

What was unsaid in the Commissioner’s speech is that the Royal Barbados Police Force lacks even the basic tools of breathalyser laws and equipment that professional policing organizations in most other jurisdictions take for granted.

The fact that the Commissioner of Police did not mention the lack of breathalyser laws and technology in a speech about road carnage means that he was being considerate of his political masters – to not offend the government or provide any sort of basis for their criticism. In this lie of omission, Commissioner Dottin once again showed that his loyalty is to the government first, and to the people of Barbados and policing second.

Barbados Has No Breathalyzer Laws – No Way Of Knowing How Much A Driver In A Fatal Crash Had Been Drinking

This year has been a terrible one for road mass casualties road accidents. Six dead at the Joes River tour bus crash, four more dead in the Emancipation Day crash and others. But in these and other serious crashes, aside from an autopsy, Barbados Police have no way of proving how much an involved driver has been drinking.

That is because our government has been negligent in providing the legal structure and the equipment that the police need to protect us all.

Back on July 25, 2006, Barbados Free Press reviewed the aborted Road Traffic Act that the government was to introduce the next day. We said that the government could put a breathalyzer law and equipment in place in six months. That was almost a year and a half ago…

Drinking and Driving Still Not Effectively Addressed

All of this is a good start, but unfortunately doesn’t address the problem of drinking and driving – which is a concern on Barbados.

Unless there is something about the new legislation that the newspapers haven’t covered, Barbados still lacks an effective drinking and driving law.

If we are really concerned about public safety, we must have effective drinking-driving laws in place and equip the police with modern breathalizers and train enough officers as technicians to ensure 24/7 coverage.

So while we are pleased with the Government’s initiative as far as it goes, we can only give it a “B-Minus” or even “C-Plus” grade in terms of overall road safety performance.

How long would it take to get an effective drunk driving law and testing equipment & personnel in place? Six months if we started today?

How about it MPs? Can you make it happen in six months?

… from the July 26, 2006 BFP article Barbados Government To Ban Cell Phones While Driving

Government Continues What It Does Best: Promises That Fade Into Oblivion…

Then in August of this year – in the wake of the mass deaths and with an election in the air – Minister of Transport Gline Clarke announced that the government was going to “study” breathalyzers.

What a sad joke.

Here is what Barbados Free Press said at the time, and it still applies. Perhaps Commissioner of Police Dottin will remember where he put his courage and sense of duty if he reads it…

“Committee To Study Breathalyzers” – Who Does Gline Clarke Think He Is Fooling?

Civilized jurisdictions all over the world have amassed tens thousands of legal cases, trials, reports, and committees to develop modern laws, training and operational standards for the police and the courts. The breathaliser technology itself is now computerised, mass produced, more accurate and cheaper than it has ever been. Roadside screening units for uniform patrol officers can be had for a few hundred dollars. The laws in British common law countries are decades old… been through the Supreme Courts and back again.

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What’s your problem, Minister Clarke?

What have you been doing for the past year? What has your government been doing for the past 13 years of slaughter?

Your so-called “committee” and press conference is too little. Too late.

And worst of all – you only mentioned the word “breathaliser” because it is politically expedient to do so because of the upcoming election, the recent road slaughter and your government’s pathetic performance.

If you need some legally-proven legislation, I suggest you try Britain or Canada or the United States or Australia for a template. It has all been done. The technology, laws, training and operational experience are yours for a few phone calls.

Just stop pretending that you and your government really care and are actually capable of implementing breathalisers within our lifetime.

… from the BFP August 13, 2007 article Minister of Transport Gline Clarke Finally “Talking” About Driver Breathaliser Tests – As First Suggested By By Barbados Free Press Over A Year Ago

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

It Is A Darn Shame That Adrian Loveridge Is Of The White Race

When it comes to making a success of tourism, perhaps the most knowledgeable person on the island is hotelier and journalist Adrian Loveridge. We watched over the years as Adrian’s knowledge and organisational talents were initially embraced by the “official” government tourism sectors and the local media – only to be cast aside when he started to ask “difficult” questions that highlighted not only government incompetence but outright lies by the Minister of Tourism and others.

(For a typical Adrian Loveridge question, see today’s Barbados Underground article What Is A Reasonable Time To Wait For A Government Department To Respond?)

For the offense of telling the truth and being more competent than many government tourism officials, Adrian Loveridge was tossed off government committees, fired as a journalist and in the end threatened with death and the destruction of his hotel by government BLP supporters. The latest threats against Adrian made by BLP supporters using the comments sections of this and other blogs center upon Adrian’s white race…

“Kill the WHITE bitch!” say the BLP government supporters, “Chop off he rasshole head. Kill he f*cking wife. Burn down he hotel.”

Nice folks, some of those BLP government types.

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But open racial prejudice is nothing new for our BLP government that frequently stirs up old racial wounds when politically convenient – or as an alternative to addressing the veracity of reasoned criticism.

As mentioned in past BFP’s articles, this racial prejudice comes right from the top government leadership: the Prime Minister regularly uses racial slurs in public speech (see here), the Minister of the Environment said during a debate on national television that no “Caucasian male” should dare to tell a member of the government what to do (see here) and the government’s BLP party website shows only one race of Barbadian – and only darker skin tones of that race. No Indians, no whites, no orientals, no mixed race folks. (see here)

The Barbados Government continues its support of Ikael Tafari, the Prime Minister’s appointed Director of the Commission for Pan-African Affairs, who time and time again has spouted racist positions. (see here)

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Even David Thompson, the leader of the Opposition is often characterised as “white” by his opponents as the worst thing they can think to say about him. (See BFP’s Barbados Government BLP Agent Plays Race Card. Calls Opposition Leader “White”, Equates With British Slave Owners)

It is one of the dubious talents of the present Barbados Government that Ministers they can smile and shake the hands of white and asian investors in the afternoon and then curse them for their race at a political rally in the evening.

If the outside world only knew!

But that is the reality at this moment in Barbados, and the BLP government does its best to fan those old flames of racism every time an election comes around.

Adrian Loveridge is unelectable in 2007 Barbados because of his white race – and that is a shame because it is Barbados’ loss and not Adrian’s loss.

Unlike so many of the government’s “experts”, Mr. Loveridge has actually proven for decades that he is a success in the tourism industry. His Peach and Quiet Hotel is consistently highly rated by such respected organisations as Trip Advisor and is often featured in foreign travel publications – for free we might add. No multi-million dollar advertising budget for Peach and Quiet, yet his hotel handily outperforms the larger government subsidized operations every season.

As pointed out today on Keltruth Blog, Adrian’s Peach and Quiet Hotel has just been declared a top pick by the New York Times. (See Keltruth Blog’s New York Times picks Peach and Quiet and Sea-U!)

It is truly a shame that under the present government, talented people like Adrian Loveridge are often excluded because of their race. Perhaps that would change under a new government, perhaps not. There is much history and some very bad history that we all have to live with – but we as a nation must be wary of those who seek to keep the wounds open for their narrow and selfish political purposes.

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Culture & Race Issues, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption, Race, Traveling and Tourism